Student Grades: How to Turn Around the Midyear SLUMP

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Marc Hoberman is the Owner / Director of Grade Success Tutoring and Educational Consulting. His One Minute Educator Videos help students, parents, and teachers reach their full potential. Marc is available for Private or Group Educational Consulting via webcam or phone. Visit www.gradesuccessinc.com for more information.

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No matter what grade a child is in, it is imperative to begin the second half of the school year with renewed motivation and a positive attitude. It is not fair, however, to expect students to be able to do this without proper structure and support from the parent(s). Below are examples on how you can help your child improve grades for the last half of the school year.

1.     It’s time for a NOTEBOOK OVERHAUL- Be prepared to have your eyes pop out of your head when you see what the inside of a student backpack or notebook truly reveals. You will witness crumpled paper, torn sheets, and disorganized worksheets without dates, student names, or subjects indicated. This is one of the greatest reasons that students have trouble being organized and effective in school. THEY CAN’T FIND THEIR WORK! Whenever possible, try to have loose-leaf binders available with no more than two or three subjects per binder. (Some teachers only want spiral notebooks so you must adhere to their rules) Divider labels are needed in the following possible categories. Class Work, Homework, Tests and Quizzes. If all work is dated, then your child will now be able to find work chronologically and study properly. Also, children should have a hole puncher available for ALL worksheets given so teacher handouts can be placed in the appropriate section. (Purchase reinforcements as well).

2.     Parent / Teacher Communication is Essential-In a perfect world, teachers would be able to call each and every parent often to discuss ways for children to improve their grades, Unfortunately, teachers have many students and this will never be achieved consistently. You must email, phone, or visit your child’s teacher(s) and determine what was done the first semester and what the teachers’ expectations are for your child to succeed the rest of the year. Keep notes and make sure you ask what you can do to support your child in his or her success in school. This method creates what I like to call the TRIANGLE of Educational Success. We need the School, the Parent, and the Student all involved together in order for children to reach their full potential.

3.     Time can be the enemy, or the HERO-Adults have difficulty with time management so just imagine what student challenges exist with soccer, cheerleading, band, and the SUPERVILLIANS …..PLAYSTATION AND X-Box! Fun and breaks from work are a must but you need to set aside time when children will do their school work. A break is needed when they first arrive home from school. They should NEVER work for more than twenty minutes at a time. Even a sponge needs to be wrung out once in a while. I suggest twenty minutes of studying and then a five minute break AWAY from the study area. Then, upon return to work, MAKE SURE CHILDREN REVIEW the first twenty minutes of studying and THEN move on to new work or new material. Learning does NOT take place during the initial studying process….it takes place during REVIEW. Hopefully these strategies will place your child on the path to a successful 2012!

Marc Hoberman is the Owner / Director of Grade Success, Inc. Tutoring and Educational Consulting. His One Minute Educator Videos help students, parents, and teachers reach their full potential. Marc is available for Private or Group Educational Consulting via webcam or phone. Visit www.gradesuccessinc.com for more information.

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